Neil Tillitson and Luc DeBecker
Nitrile Gloves in Use
both worked on the invention of the nitrile glove during the late 1980s and finally perfected the formulae and the manufacturing technique in 1990.
They filed for a patent in May of 1991 and the patent was finally granted to the Tillitson Corporation in 1997.
Nitrile gloves have a reputation for not being as closely-fitting as latex gloves.
Nitrile (also known as "Synthetic Rubber") is generally not quite as elastic, nor as strong as latex and because they do not conform to the hand as tightly as latex, have not been widely adopted for medical surgery.
However, nitrile gloves are about 3 times more puncture resistant than latex and this makes the nitrile glove an excellent candidate for ambulance operators, health clinics, paramedics and very, very popular with dentists and dental hygenists.
In fact, the "Nitrile Exam Glove" has become the de-facto standard for dentists worldwide since about 1999.
There are several other excellent applications for the nitrile glove:
- Automotive manufacturing and maintenance - good resistance to petrochemicals.
- Oil and fuel refining, storage, pipeline and delivery - good resistance to petrochemicals.
- Manufacturing of transmission belts, o-rings, gaskets, oil seals, v-belts and synthetic leather.
- Manufacturing and handling of many petroleum-based adhesives and solvents.
- Blood-donation clinics, methadone clinics, vaccination clinics and any place where hypodermic needles are used.
Nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) is a family of unsaturated copolymers of propenenitrile, combined with one of many butadiene monomers.
Although the physical properties of nitrile are dependent on the polymer composition, nitrile butadiene rubber is generally resistant to oil and petroleum fuels.
When there is more nitrile in the mixture, resistance to oil is better, but this also reduces the flexibility of the material.
This resistance to petro-chemicals makes NBR a useful material for gloves used in handling hydrocarbons.
And nitrile's puncture resistance makes them ideal for disposable exam gloves, especially for infection-prone environments where puncture resistance is important.
Nitrile gloves are used in engine manufacturing and in related processes to make fuel and oil handling hoses, seals, and grommets.
Nitrile butadiene rubber maintains form and strength throughout a wide range of temperatures from −40 °C to +108 °C and this makes it an ideal material for extreme industrial situations.
Nitrile rubber is also used to create molded items, synthetic rubber footwear, synthetic adhesives, flexible sealants, synthetic sponge, expandable insulation foam, and rubber mats and matting.
In summary, Nitrile rubber is more resistant than natural rubber to oils and acids, but has inferior strength and flexibility
but nitrile gloves are still about 3 times more puncture-resistant than latex gloves
Nitrile gloves are quite resistant to aliphatic hydrocarbons.
Nitrile gloves, just like latex gloves, can be attacked by aromatic hydrocarbons, ozone, ketones, aldehydes and esters.
For many reasons (not the least of which are the patent licensing fees), nitrile gloves end up being somewhat more expensive than latex, but often, cost is not an issue: nitrile gloves are de riguer
for many applications.